Z is for Zen

Dogs are my Zen

Kari and Dogs

The other day I filled out some paperwork for massage therapy. It asked me what I do to relax, and I should have written Walk my dogs. Walking shelter dogs has the same effect (although I’d prefer that Mia and Leo believe they’re the only dogs with this effect on me).

See my sweatshirt in the above photo? It says Dog is my Zen. I saw it across the room at Dog Is Good‘s booth at the SoCal Pet Expo and thought, If I ever needed another gray hoodie, this is the one.


My doggies bring me so much peace and joy every single day. I love coming home to their sweet faces and waking up to them each morning.

There’s ample scientific proof that dogs (and cats, too, I guess) are good for you:

Playing with or petting an animal can increase levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease production of the stress hormone cortisol.

From WebMD:

Along with treatment, pets can help some people with mild to moderate depression feel better. … “Taking care of a pet can help give you a sense of your own value and importance,” Cook says. It will remind you that you are capable – that you can do more than you might think.

My favorite evidence, from HelpGuide:

Even hardened criminals in prison have shown long-term changes in their behavior after interacting with dogs, many of them experiencing mutual affection for the first time.

Need I say more?

We did it! Thanks for joining me on my All Positive A to Z Challenge. I used all positive language in my posts in honor of my book, Bark and Lunge, about how positive training helped my reactive dog Isis. At least I hope I did. Have a look at all 26 posts to see if I slipped up anywhere, and let me know!


Also, please join me for the Thursday Barks and Bytes Blog Hop, hosted by 2 Brown Dawgs and Heart Like a Dog.

Heart Like a Dog

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Published by Kari Neumeyer

Writer, editor, dog mom, ovarian cancer survivor

14 thoughts on “Z is for Zen

  1. I was so wondering what you’d use for the letter Z, lol. Zen is good. It’s great, in fact. Pets do make us calmer and better people. Can’t imagine life without them. In fact, I don’t quite trust people who live without pets. Cheers and have a great week.

  2. Barley is equal parts zen and chaos. She is very good at calming me down with nice walks along the lake or through the arboretum, but she’s just as good at making me absolutely batty as she tries to sneak snacks from the litter box or her brother’s cat food dish. I love the sweatshirt, though!

  3. I love the sweatshirt! I feel the same way about my dogs. They bring me so much peace and calm after a hectic day. I had my therapy dog with me one day at work and a college student sitting with him said, “He is so soft and calming. It’s like petting Valium.” 🙂

  4. Aww, that hoodie is great! I think I’m about to accept the fact that I just want to wear dog-related shirts all of the time. I can’t believe it’s ‘Z-Day’ already! You did such an awesome job with this challenge.

  5. Thank you for joining the blog hop! I think dogs are my Zen too, although I can’t always say are walks are peaceful. 🙂 When we were free to walk off-leash in the woods (without Delilah running off…) those were Zen walks.

    I do love coming home to them, waking up to them and spending time with them though, they make me smile.

    1. Even when the walks aren’t stress-free, they make me feel good. Except yesterday when I lost a contact lens and was short a poop bag! Thank god my self-imposed month of positivity is over and I can complain about it.

  6. Hi Y’all!

    Beautiful round-up to the a to z challenge! Love all those tulips behind you. What a beautiful setting.

    Y’all come on back,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  7. I love the hoodie!!! I want one for sure. So glad to hear you have found your zen. So many people need to find their zen and if they only knew how easy it can be to find it with the addition of a dog (or two or three…) into their lives! thanks for doing your part! 🙂
    Congrats on reaching the end of the line. Great challenge!
    Glad I found your blog…
    Michele at Angels Bark

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